Can Deacon find his way out of the dark?
All right, folks, we got through the funeral. Let’s see if there’s any way to go on in a Rayna-less Nashville.
Down at Highway 65, no one wants to talk about work, but they really have to talk about work. Bucky’s got a big tour lined up for The Exes, but Scarlett is hesitant about leaving the girls so soon. The ever-tactful Zach brings up releasing Rayna’s last album to the public, but Deacon isn’t on board and says it’s not finished anyway. An even less tactful and now impatient Zach wants to know when it’ll be ready; the company really needs some money coming in right now considering the recent purchase of Wheeling Dealing Records, and the album of a recently deceased star would sell like hot country biscuits. Still, an understandably grumpy Deacon is reluctant and doesn’t believe that he owes anything to the fans — only Rayna.
Back at the house, Juliette stops by with some groceries for the girls and Deacon. Maddie’s phone has been ringing nonstop since her performance at the CMT Awards, and this time when it buzzes it’s “one of the Jimmys.” Scarlett yells at whichever one of the Jimmys it is and tells him to leave the bereaved teen alone. Juliette, however, is astounded that they would turn down offers to appear on national television. (That girl’s priorities are seriously skewed.) She’s all, “The girl’s having a moment, whether it’s good timing or bad” and thinks this will give Maddie the opportunity to play her music on a bigger stage, which is what she’s always wanted. Scarlett thinks there’ll be a better time — obviously she’s right since there literally couldn’t be a worse time. Call me cynical, but it seems like riding the wave of your mother’s death to success is kinda tacky, to say the least. But Juliette is on a roll and offers to take Maddie to New York herself. Deacon (who apparently had been in this scene all along) steps in and asks Maddie what she wants. She thinks the only reason people want to talk to her is because she cried on television in front of the whole world, but her dad tells her it’s because she got up on a big stage in the hardest situation imaginable and was magical and beautiful and the world saw that. And so Maddie and Juliette head off with Deacon’s blessing — even though he looks completely miserable as they drive away.
After a dinner date with Zach in which the billionaire implores him to try and reason with Deacon, Will goes to see the widower to try and bring him around to the idea of releasing Ray’s music sooner rather than later. Will and Deacon probably have the least onscreen time out of everyone on this show, so it’s not entirely surprising when Will makes little headway. Bucky’s worried that Zach will pull his money out of the company, so Deacon relents and says that he will think about it.
Meanwhile, in the Big Apple, Maddie is appearing on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. I feel like a morning show might’ve been a better fit, but hey, I’m no publicist. Noah’s a sweetheart (hey, cameo!) and makes Maddie feel comfortable, not pressing her to talk about her mom when she tears up. Later, backstage, he has her perform Ray’s song again for the group, and the reality of the situation seems to come flooding back to Maddie.
Back home, Daphne and Scarlett are watching on the couch. Daphne confesses that she feels sick whenever she thinks of her mom so has been trying not to, but Scar advises reflecting on all the good times and not forcing her mind to block all those thoughts out.
Meanwhile, upstairs, after unsuccessfully attempting to listen to the album he and Rayna were working on, Deacon goes to her closet and takes out an old suitcase full of relics, notebooks and old CDs from over the years.
The poor guy is completely overcome with grief. He starts watching old footage of the two of them recording together and flipping through her lyric books. She’s filled pages with her thoughts about Deacon and their hurricane-like love.